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NEWS UPDATES 2 March 2010

Vietnam steel firms to raise prices

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Under pressure of the price hike of many production materials such as electricity, gasoline and scrap steel, many steel enterprises in the country are preparing to increase steel prices by as much as 10 percent this month to balance their production costs, reported

Do Duy Thai, general director of ThepViet Steel Corporation, told the Daily late last week that ThepViet would increase the price of its Pomina steel products by as much as some 10 percent this month.

Thai said that with the price of power up by 6.8 percent, gasoline up by 590 dong per liter and imported scrap up from $330 to $355 per ton, the prices of finished steel products must increase by at least 10 percent to make steel product production profitable.

ThepViet has an annual production capacity of 1.1 million tons of finished steel products. The factory price of the corporation’s steel products was some 13 million dong per ton, said Thai.

Pham Chi Cuong, chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA), told the Daily late last week that many members of the association were also preparing to increase their steel prices by 100,000 to 150,000 dong per ton.

Cuong said the price hike of steel products was unavoidable as the production cost of materials such as ingots, scrap metal, gasoline and power had surged.

Cuong early this year said the country’s steel industry had expected total steel consumption of some 13 million tons in 2010, up by 10 percent compared to last year. However, according to the association, national steel consumption in February was nearly 40 percent lower than January at only 230,000 tons.

Phan Vu Hung, director of Sacombank’s Steel Exchange in HCMC’s Tan Binh District, said the trade of both industry and construction steel products on the exchange had been quiet.

Hung also said transactions were expected to be eventful after March when construction projects would start again after some weeks off for Lunar New Year holiday.

According to VSA, early this year steel product prices increased by some 10 percent due to import ingot materials surging by $30 per ton.


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